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4 vital questions to ask yourself when planning a wedding

Wedding PlanningMadeline KellyComment

So, hopefully, by now you have made the big announcement of your engagement, have started to dream up the details of your day, and are more in love with your fiance than ever before! If you are newly engaged you can visit my previous post on what to do RIGHT after you get engaged here! 

In this post, I am going to ask some practical questions that will help you focus in on what your wedding day will look like and how you can make that dream a reality! I recommend you take out a piece of paper and write down your answers to these specific questions. Share them with your fiance! They might not even be aware of all the things buzzing around in your mind and writing them down makes them more concrete. Let's get started!

  1. What is your budget?

To start with the beloved topic of budget...Be honest here. This will have one of the biggest effects on your day because weddings can be expensive. If you're in a place where you are investing in your future, paying off student loans, or you are hoping to save up for a home then you might not want to spend as much on your wedding day. In that case, you need to be asking for help from your friends and family early on and often! If you have a bigger budget you still have to decide how you want to use that money! For all brides, it is good to write down a number to divvy it up into all your estimated expenses.

  • One tool I used when planning my wedding was WeddingWire's Budget Tool which you can visit here (you have to have a Wedding Wire account to view this page, they are free and this tool alone is worth the time to sign up!). They take your estimated budget and divide it into categories based on the average percentage of budget that goes to certain aspects of a wedding! As an added bonus, as you move things around, it will ask and update your budget to go to another area.

After you've come up with this number you can think more clearly about the latter 3 questions I've asked. The question of how you want to bless your friends and family...since you are planning one of the biggest parties of your life and all your closest friends and family are going to be there! It is SUPER SPECIAL. And they are there to celebrate you and your fiance! From the simple things of making sure they are comfortable during the ceremony (is it going to be above 75 degrees? Set out bottled water! is their heavy rain in the forecast? find umbrellas or ponchos to make your outdoor ceremony a little more bearable!) to going all out having welcome baskets for guests that have travelled from afar at their hotel room. 

  • How do you want to bless your friends and family on your big day?

    Knowing your budget will allow you to set realistic and creative ways to get your guests excited for your day and feel cared for with the thoughtful aspects of your wedding. Having a bottle of wine with local chocolates, coffee gift card, and letterpressed greeting card may not be in the budget! But if it is this could be a wonderful way to thank your guests for traveling to be a part of your wedding day. One business I just love is The Cotton Candy Confectionery. They offer homemade gourmet cotton candy that will blow your guests away (they carry classic flavors & 32 fun ones like coffee, buttered rum, mango...) You could include some of their cotton candy in your welcome bag (it's super affordable and fun!) or have it as your party favor at the wedding. The options are endless and you can be creative with how to make your wedding special for your closest friends and family!

  • What do you want your wedding theme to be?

Now, to my third question... do you picture your wedding theme being classic, rustic, or chic? Are there any color schemes that you love? I am going to write a whole post just on coming up with a theme/color scheme for your wedding. Pinterest can be overloaded and after all, you don't want to copy another bride but want your day to be unique and represent you and your fiance! To sign up and keep in the loop with future posts go here. 

Thinking about your overall scheme will help you as you make all those tiny decisions you never thought would cross your mind! "What shade of grey do I want my tablecloths to be?! And why are there 18 different shades of grey!" was one of my ridiculous questions. From tablecloths to your bridesmaids nail polish to your wedding programs... it will be really helpful to come up with a vision and base idea for your wedding day.

  • Can you think of anything you must have/do at your wedding?!

Lastly, the MUST HAVES! Is there anything you've dreamt of since you were a little girl? Or an inspiring photo you've seen that you want to make sure is incorporated into your day? These are super important & good to let your fiance know early in your planning process. I didn't share with my husband how important it was for me to have a videographer & that led to me getting really upset one night (2 weeks before the wedding!!!) and explaining how sad I was to not have one. We ended up scrambling and got an amazing videographer but it was stressful. Share early and often about these things!

Golden Hour Paper would love to be a part of your special day. Our wedding invitations and design can be custom-made to represent your day beautifully! From Save the Date design to Thank You cards, favor tags, escort cards - we do it all and can mix custom inks to match your day-of decor. Feel free to fill out our inquiry form here or to shoot me a message at: goldenhourpaper@gmail.com

Overall, just remember that you are going to be married at the end of all this planning. Some days are going to be stressful. Some days there will be way too many questions coming at you. But every day there is an opportunity to be reminded of your love for your fiance and the fact that you get to make vows before your closest friends and family on your wedding day! If you have any questions or would like to hear about other hilarious things that happened to me while I was planning my wedding please comment below!

 

All the best,

Maddy 

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7 things to do after you get engaged!

Wedding PlanningMadeline KellyComment
 

Engagement season is upon us! Did you know that 40% of engagements happen between November and February each year? With Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve topping the lists of most popular day to get engaged? So, what are my tips for people who are newly engaged.

  1. The first, go with your gut and maybe don't even listen to a list like this. There is a plethora of advice, opinions, and sometimes ridiculous ideas of what you should do after getting engaged. Last February I got engaged and read an article that said I should make sure to have a manicure so that no one judges my hands...Sorry but that's not the first thing that came to mind for me. I hope this post can be practical and helpful to you as you enter into this exciting (and sometimes stressful) season!

Now with the first tip (if you still choose to hear out my humble list!)

What to do right after you get engaged!

  1. Enjoy the moment with your hubby-to-be. You are going to start your life together and this is a very special moment. Take a deep breath, take it all in, and revel in the beauty of your love story and how you have arrived to this wonderful place.

  2. Call the people who are most important to you. Your best friend or family members hearing the big news through social media might hurt their feelings, especially for those in older generations. Since they didn't grow up with social media (or cell phones for that matter!) a phone call would mean so much to them rather than scrolling through Facebook (with all the viral videos, trending topics, and often overwhelming amount of "reposts") to see a picture of you and your fiances smiling faces bearing the joy of your new engagement. Tip for this tip: if you have a family member who has a bigger mouth than others, maybe call her later on or politely remind her to keep this to him/herself as you want to be the one to share the news!

  3. Post on social media! An epic ring shot, the story of how he asked, or photo of the two of you is the perfect way to share your joy!

  4. Especially take in the first day and weeks to follow getting engaged. You will feel the love and support of people around you and begin to think about the wedding, where your closest friends and family will come together for an EPIC party.

What to do the first couple months after getting engaged:

  1. Make sure to but insurance for that new bling! Within a week of getting engaged I was pulling a glass out of my kitchen cabinet and *pop* there goes my center stone. No, I don't have a dramatic story to tell, yes we found the stone, and no it wasn't insured. Luckily, we had purchased the ring at a mom-and-pop shop here in Philadelphia and they were gracious to fix the ring for us free of charge. This did mean that I didn't get to wear it for 6 days and that we were reminded of the necessity of insurance. What if the diamond had disappeared? Ring insurance is totally affordable and 100% worth it! Sometimes you can add ring insurance to other insurance plans (State Farm, Geico, USAA all offer it!) or you can purchase it through a smaller provider.

  2. Think through any "must-have" vendors. Is there a photographer you just love and couldn't imagine your day without? A venue you have visited in the past that you think would create the perfect backdrop for your date? If you are thinking these things, it is likely that others are as well! Reach out to them and share how much you love their work! Ask them for their availability for the season you are hoping to get married. If there is a deal-breaker for you, in terms of vendors you'd like to hire, check their availability before setting a wedding date.

  3. Propose to your bridal party! Oftentimes, your fiance will not want to hear the details of color schemes (pink, blush, or rose?!) but your girls will. Think about those that you can't imagine your day without and who will be a support to you and your spouse for the rest of your lives. Whether you go big or small, your girls will be so excited to hear about your thoughts, dreams, and even your venting, as you plan for your big day.

There are SO many things out there telling you what to do & when. Timelines GALORE. Opinions that go on and on. An important thing to remember is that you are starting your life together and beginning to build your marriage even now in this season. Your wedding day will be special most of all because you are marrying your best friend and life partner. Take each day at a time & enjoy the small victories, moments with your closest friends and family, and look forward to one of the best days of your life!

There will be a follow-up blog post in the coming weeks on things to do later on in your engagement! If this article was helpful to you please feel free to Pin the image below to share with your friends!

 

Warmly,

Maddy

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